Shelton, WA asked in Real Estate Law for Washington

Q: The neighbors carport is 8' on our property. We bought the property less than 6 years ago.

I mentioned it to him a couple of years ago and said I wanted it moved though I was in no hurry. I want him to move it now. What do I do? I sent a certified letter requesting he move it within 60 days but he won't sign for the letter. I did not tell him I was sending the letter.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Brent Bowden
Brent Bowden
  • Lynnwood, WA
  • Licensed in Washington

A: The answer to this question likely hinges on whether your neighbor can claim ownership of the property the carport is on by adverse possession. To know how strong a claim your neighbor would have, we would need to know how long the carport has been there and under what circumstances (mainly, was it without permission). If the carport has been there for more than 10 years, he may actually be able to claim ownership of the property the carport is on (especially if it had already been 10+ when you told him a few years ago you wanted it moved).

If you got title insurance when you bought the property, depending on what exclusions are in your policy, your title insurance company may fight this for you and pay you if you end up not owning the property in question.

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